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Island Coast's second half surge not enough

Gators fall to East Lee Jaguars, 47-34

November 4, 2017
By Eric DeVaux ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Suffering a first half collapse, the Island Coast Gators made it a game in the second half against the East Lee Jaguars Friday night. They eventually fell to the Jaguars, 47-34, to close out their season despite scoring more points than in all their previous games combined.

The game was headed downward fast for Island Coast in the first half, until mistakes by the Jaguars started turning into Gators' points.

The comeback started when the Gators recovered a loose ball on a kickoff in the third quarter, which led to a touchdown.

On the Jaguars' following drive, the Gators' defense caused a fumble and recovered it, setting up another scoring opportunity, which Island Coast turned into a touchdown.

"Kids started to play," Gators' coach John Schwochow said. "It just took them a little while to understand. Our guys have to get a little success. Things started building."

Behind Gators' quarterback Jason Joseph and running back Demond Jeffcoat, the Gators continued to to grind out yards and points.

After a slow firsts half, Jeffcoat started finding space to run in the second half. He ended up with 97 yards on 23 carries.

"When you're able to get some positive yards, you're able to get a little confidence, you're able to see a little better, you're able to hit those holes," Schwochow said.

Joseph found his passing touch at one point in the third quarter, throwing two good completions to get the Gators into scoring range.

Schwochow sees promise in Joseph and thinks he will be a good starter for years to come as he is only a freshman.

"He could be very good," Shwochow said. "You see glimpses of it now but down the road he could be really good."

The coach said Joseph has had good practice on the junior varsity squad.

He ended the day with 73 yards on 5 of 19 completions, with big chunks of that coming in the second half.

The problem was that they fell too far behind and could not really stop the Jaguars from scoring. East Lee found success in running the ball.

The Jaguars had a combined 179 yards between six runners.

The Jaguars proved their own worst enemy in the first have fumbling several times, but the Gators could not capitalize on any of those first half mistakes.

The Gators had their own miscues, with one interception returned for a touchdown.

It was all over when the Gators tried a fake punt in the fourth quarter, but it failed to get the first down.

Jaguars' coach Dave Smith was happy for the Gators actually making this a game.

"Island Coast has a great foundation," Smith said. " They fought hard, they played hard. Me being over there seeing them them excited, as a football coach I was excited for them."

Schwochow sees a lot of promise for next year.

"I got some very talented freshman," he said. "We need to get bigger, stronger, faster."

ISLAND COAST -- O 7 13 14 - 34

EAST LEE -- 20 14 7 6 - 47

1st Quarter

EL - Mitchell, 19-yard pass from Lee (Najera kick)

EL - Eleaby, 1-yard run (Conversion failed)

EL - Interception return (Najera kick)

2nd Quarter

IC - Joseph, 2-yard run (Davis kick)

EL - #1, 46-yard run (Najera kick)

EL - Squires, 10-yard run (Najera kick)

3rd Quarter

EL - Squires, 2-yard run (Najera kick)

IC - Jeffcoat, 10-yard run (Kick no good)

IC - Lusk, 14-yard pass from Joseph (Davis kick)

4th Quarter

IC - Jeffcoat, 3-yard run (Davis kick)

EL - Squires, 5-yard run (Kick blocked)

IC - 2-yard run (Davis kick)



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